The Cavaliers last night stayed in the game through the third quarter. That’s when, once again, the Cavs couldn’t make shots and stopped playing defense.
The Portland Trailblazers are obviously a much better team than the Cavaliers. And it really showed as they went on a massive run that really put the game out of reach. Looking at the box score, it’s hard to believe the Cavs were actually in the game at some points.
Kyrie Irving lead the way with 21 points, four rebounds and four assists. He did have four turnovers, but I think Irving is learning to take good care of the ball. The rest of the starting lineup was almost nonexistent. Omri Casspi was the next highest scorer with 10 points. The starting lineup is really becoming a problem. Major contributions are coming off the bench, and that cannot happen every night. It’s great to have an amazing bench. But your starters have to bring it every night and make plays. So far, they have not that consistently.
Speaking of the bench, they were mostly held in check by a superior Portland team. Tristan Thompson lead the way for the bench bunch with 10 points, and five rebounds. Ramon Sessions followed eight points, and Alonzo Gee had only three points. What’s amazing about Gee is that he was on the floor for over twenty five minutes and only had two shots. The bench needs to bring it stronger against Utah.
But the shots must go down. I don’t care if we are talking about bench players or starters. They must make their shots. And they must make a commitment defense. I’ve been saying this from the start. If the Cavs make a commitment to defense, they will go far. They can’t play defense for part of a game and then stop. It has to be four solid quarters of defense. Once these guys settle down, we’ll see what we have. But today, with the exception Irving, I am calling the starters out. You guys are starting for an NBA team. Bring the energy of a starter every single night. And most importantly, play like NBA starter.